So here it is. The top 150 forward rankings for the 2012-13
fantasy hockey season have arrived.
Before we get to the "Who's number 1?" debate, here are some
highlights worth mentioning:
- Zach Kassian (VAN) made the
- Mike Ribeiro (WAS) did not
- Pittsburgh and Edmonton both
placed 3 players in the top 15.
- 5 teams had no players in the
top 50 (Buffalo, Phoenix, Calgary, Florida, Columbus)
- Columbus had 0 players make
the list. Zero.
- Note: Rookies have not yet
been added to the list. Expect
Yakupov to crack the top 80.
- Biggest dropoff from last
year's final standings: Franzen, Burrows, Cole
- Biggest increases from last
year's final standings: Crosby, Backstrom, Nugent-Hopkins
- Most shocking pick: Eberle at
The debate involved
four names. Looking any deeper is a
waste of time. Cutting any out would be
an oversight. In reality, it comes down
to three factors:
1. Your league's
point system. (goals versus assists in
2. Your tolerance
for injury risk.
3. Gut feel.
You really can't go
wrong choosing any one of these guys, so if you have the option, draft 4th and
settle on whatever is left so you can cash earlier in round 2. Ultimately, I chose the guy who has most
consistently delivered the goals, and points, without injury concern for the
last three seasons. That would be Steven
Stamkos. If health were a guarantee,
Crosby would be my #1. Since it's not
and since Malkin comes with similar injury concerns, I'll settle for those two
with the 2nd or 3rd selection. As for
Giroux, I actually have no trouble picking him to win the scoring title. The problem is that his points are heavily
weighted on assists. So far total
fantasy production, I place him a close fourth.
here's the top:
1. Steven Stamkos
If you're adverse to
risk and just want a superstar you can count on (who can stay on the ice), then
Stamkos is your guy. Three straight seasons of 90+ points. He was far and away
the leading goal scorer in the league last season and will likely repeat that
accomplishment this time around. Look for his first 100 point season. He has
earned the right to go 1st overall in your draft.
2. Sidney Crosby
The only question
even worth considering at the top is "Can he stay healthy?" If you
believe Crosby can make it through 65+ games this season, there is really no
choice to be made. He is far and away the greatest player in the league. The
ceiling is just too high to pass, even with the risk involved. No doubt, there
is a huge risk here, as #87 has never played a complete 82 game season. Pick
him first or second, 'cause he won't be around after that.
3. Evgeni Malkin
Malkin was clearly
The Man last season. He did everything right and earned every bit of the
hardware he was handed. So can he repeat as the best player in the league? Much
like his fellow center Crosby, it will come down to health. The last time he
put up 100 points (113, actually) in '08-09, he followed it up with seasons of
77 and 37 points, due to various injuries. Still, the upside is far too high to
pass on. Good enough to go first, shouldn't go beyond 3rd.
4. Claude Giroux
There can be no
doubt, Giroux has earned his spot among the elite. Through his first four NHL
seasons, his point totals have steadily increased. The only factor holding him
back from going first overeall is his meager goal production. He should have no
problem finishing in the top 5 again this season, and should push for a career
high 30 goals this time around.
The complete list of
150 can be found in our Draft Guru section.
From there, you can break it down by category (breakout players,
sleepers, risers, fallers, etc.). You
can also customize your own draft list.